Rassba represents the parents of Lalitha and Ram. “Ra” represents Radha (Ram’s mother), “S” and “S” represents Shankar and Seethamma, and “Ba” represents Rams father – Balagangadhar. While the role of the environment in our nurturing is a factor, some of us are blessed with the love and nurturing that we received from our parents. It is the gratitude to the family that motivated Lalitha and Ram to name the farm RASSBA. Rassba is a celebration of the love and blessings of their parents.
Late Radha Sithamma Shankar Shrauthi Balagangadhar
Rassba farms, since 1991, belongs to Lalitha and Ram. While farming was not something that they ever imagined they would do when they started their life together as man and wife over three decades ago, the joyful journey of life has brought has them here.
Here is how it all started. Lalitha’s father, Capt. Shankar Shrauti was a captain in the merchant navy sailing around the world. He started his career at the age of 17, as was the norm those days. In 1990 he had a cardiac incident and the family did its best to convince him not to go back to sea – something that is very difficult for a sailor. Reluctantly he agreed and as a way to keep busy and healthy, said that he will go into farming, like some of his cousins and uncles. Lalitha and Ram, who lived outside the country those days, quickly bought the piece of land in Hesaraghatta in 1991, and Capt. Shrauti and his wife Seethamma started farming.
The farm grew fruits, vegetables, pulses, millets, flowers, which Capt Shrauti focussed on. Seethamma was passionate about cows and looked after the dairy farm. He even inspired his long time friends Capt Shishir Chaudry from Mumbai and Capt. Chatterjee from Australia to buy the adjacent piece of land. In all Capt Shrauti and Seethamma managed the 12 acre farm for over a decade. Commercial aspects were not important as the focus was to keep Capt. Shrauti and Seethamma happy and healthy.
Unfortunately in 2001 Capt Shrauti, who was a long term diabetic, suffered a kidney failure. Farming activities stopped as the schedule of going through dialysis twice a week was exacting. The farm was left idle for 4 years and on the passing away of Capt Shrauti in 2006. Lalitha and Ram came back to India immediately to look after Seethamma.
A Sustainable Model for Integrated Agriculture
While on one end of the spectrum the farm uses high-tech-hi-precision hydroponic farming, on the other end of the spectrum we use all natural organic farming at the other end of the spectrum, with a food forest to end the story– all coexisting on the same land. Until now most commercial farming models are focussed on one, and just one technique of farming. Rassba farms hopes to prove that many techniques of farming can coexist to maximise the potential of the farm.
India went through a food security crises in late 1960’s which led to the green revolution which succeeded in its mission of ensuring that the nation does not ever run out of food. While poverty and food unavailability still exists in the country, one can say with confidence that the situation is much better relative to the last 1960’s.
In the India of today, very few of the urban poor go to sleep hungry. Thanks to welfare measures by the government, doles and subsidies basic food necessities are more or less delivered. But the challenge today is not the availability of food, but the intake of nutritious and non-toxic food. And this is not a challenge just for the poor, but for all in the country.
Availability of nutritious and non-toxic food is an issue because of decades of excessive chemical farming, spraying of pesticides and the effects of climate change. The green house gas effect caused by massive release of green house gases including Co2, have resulted in not just extreme events like floods and droughts, but has an effect on food. While nutrition levels of grains have declined because of heat stress, excessive Co2 in the atmosphere is also contributing to decline in nutrition content of crops, besides affecting yields.
Add to this the problem of pollutants like mercury and micro plastics in the waters that affect marine life, hormones and antibiotics in livestock that are consumed, and we have the slow decline of availability of ‘nutritious non toxic food’. With increase of population, increased affluence and prosperity, the demand and consumption of food will naturally increase, which will lead to a new era of food security – lack of nutritious non toxic food.
Rassba farms hopes to contribute learnings and experience to address what the world will face in the future, through the implementation of multiple techniques of farming in an integrated manner and on sustainable platforms.
The Rassba Farm Collective
The Rassba Farm Collective, is a coming together of like minded people with a common philosophy and shared passion, focussed intent and a determination to break away from the pack, and bring to our customers, products that are global in their appeal, uncompromising in their quality, nutritious & delicious.
At the Rassba Farm Collective we curate the best of the best and bring it to your homes. This is so that you can get a lot of what you want, backed by the trust and friendship that you have built with Rassba Farms.